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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is one of the most important preventive health measures for both mother and child. Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months (and sustained for up to two years or longer with appropriate complementary feeding) is important for the nutrition, immunologic protection, growth, and development of infants and toddlers.

Perinatal Services BC believes that breastfeeding is a population health strategy that must be protected, supported, and promoted to optimize the health of mothers and their infants.  

While BC’s breastfeeding initiation rate is 93%, only 42% of infants are breastfed exclusively for six months. This highlights the need to continue to implement actions that advance breastfeeding in the province. 

Please note: Guidelines >5 years old should not be consulted or utilized for any clinical purposes. They are available for historical reference only.

External Resources

Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Birth to Six Months (Joint Statement Health Canada, Canadian Paediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada, and Breastfeeding Committee for Canada)

Launched by World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF in 1991, the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.

Perinatal Services BC endorses the Baby-Friendly Initiative as a framework for the provision of evidence-informed care to mothers, infants, and families, and upholds the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes to ensure the appropriate marketing and distribution of human milk substitutes and other products related to the code.


PSBC is a member organization of the BC Baby-Friendly Network, a multidisciplinary committee of health care providers, ministry representatives, and consumers interested in protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding. 


The Minister of Health and the Minister for Children and Family Development have designated the BC Baby-Friendly Network as the implementation committee for the Baby-Friendly Initiative in British Columbia. The network works in partnership with the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. Perinatal Services BC also sits on the Board of Directors for the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada. 




The BC Women's Provincial Milk Bank screens milk donors, collects and pasteurizes donated milk, and distributes it to hospitals in BC.

Milk from a baby’s own mother is always the first choice. When her milk isn’t available, donor milk is the next best thing. Donor milk has active beneficial properties and is similar to mother’s own milk. It provides babies with antibodies to fight disease and infection. Human milk is best for all babies. It is especially important for sick and very tiny babies.

The demand for milk is high and often exceeds supply. New donors are always needed. Download the list of Facilities with Donor Milk Collection Depots.
These materials promote community support of breastfeeding.

Click on the images below to see print ready versions of breastfeeding promotional materials.


Download and print as many posters as you need for your sites. 


Breastfeeding Decal 2018.JPG Breastfeeding Tipsheet 2018.JPG


BFWelcomePoster.jpg WBWPoster_FirstNations.jpg


WBWPoster_Work.jpg

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, however, it is celebrated in Canada from October 1-7. It is celebrated in October because it is the 10th month of the year and symbolizes the first week of a baby’s life (after nine months of pregnancy) when a baby may begin to breastfeed.


The #WBW2020 slogan “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet” was chosen to focus on the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people. The theme is aligned with thematic area 3 in the WBW-SDG 2030 campaign which highlights the links between breastfeeding and the environment/climate change.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) applies the warm chain approach of working together across sectors and levels to make common cause with groups working on environmental issues. Together, we need to emphasize the link between breastfeeding and the environment.

Learn more about World Breastfeeding Week.

The Government of BC has proclaimed October 1-7 as Breastfeeding Week. Find the Provincial Proclamations below:

Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge

In October, the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge celebrates breastfeeding and milk-banking and demonstrates promotion, protection, and support for breastfeeding women and their families. It’s a chance for education and peer support to be done in a fun social way. 

The challenge is usually held the first Saturday in October of each year to see which geographic area (province, state, or territory) has the most breastfeeding babies, as a percentage of the birthrate, “latched on” at 11 am local time.






SOURCE: Breastfeeding ( )
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